This is why 49ers signed Josh Rosen off Buccaneers’ practice squad
The San Francisco 49ers made a surprising addition on Tuesday by signing Josh Rosen off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad. It’s not very often that a player gets signed off another team’s practice squad the week of a game. But there were some circumstances that led to the signing.
49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been out since Week 8 due to an ankle injury. Nick Mullens had been starting in Garoppolo’s place, but he is now out for the season with an elbow injury.
C.J. Beathard is the team’s third-string quarterback and set to start in Week 16 at Arizona. Josh Johnson was signed in early November to serve as the team’s fourth-string quarterback. He ordinarily would have been set to back up Beathard on Sunday. However, Johnson was just placed on the COVID list.
Down to only one quarterback available for Sunday, the Niners needed at least one other option. They found a QB in Rosen, the former first-round pick.
Remember, the 49ers couldn’t sign a free agent because they needed a player who was already in the league’s COVID testing system so that they would be eligible to play on Sunday. The NFL even just approved a new rule that allows teams to add players off another team’s practice squad. The reason for this new rule was clear: they wanted to avoid another Denver Broncos situation. Rosen is already in the league’s testing protocol, which made adding him convenient.
This was awful timing for Johnson, who would have had a shot at backing up in a game on Sunday. But it’s a good opportunity for Rosen, who has bounced around two teams this year but has not gotten any playing time. He’ll just have to learn a new system now.